High temperatures return to Kansas; beware of heat-related dangers – Osage County Online | Osage County News

High temperatures return to Kansas; beware of heat-related dangers

High temperatures have returned to Kansas, increasing the risk of heat stroke and other heat-related dangers. Kansas Division of Emergency Management officials are urging Kansans to take extra precautions.

Heat dangers

The extreme heat and rising heat indices pose a danger to both people and their pets. Kansans are advised to stay out of the heat as much as possible. Limit outdoor activities until the cooler part of the day. If you must work outside for an extended period, observe these precautions:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Use sunscreen
  • Wear light colors and a hat
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.

KDEM officials also suggest having a plan for where your family can go if there is a power outage. Many communities offer heat shelters or you can go to public area such as a library or a shopping mall.

Keep a close eye on children and check on elderly neighbors, and watch for signs of heat-related illness:

  • Sunburn: Redness and pain.
  • Heat cramps: Painful spasms usually in the muscles of legs and abdomen.
  • Heat exhaustion: Heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, clammy skin; fainting and vomiting, may have normal temperature.
  • Heat stroke (or sunstroke): High body temperature (106 degrees F or higher), hot dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, possible unconsciousness. Summon emergency medical assistance or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal. While waiting for emergency assistance, move the victim to a cooler environment, and reduce body temperature with a cold bath. Remove clothing and use fans or air conditioning. Do not give fluids.

Heat safety for pets

Ensure pets have water and plenty of shade. Check on pets frequently to ensure they aren’t suffering from the heat. Don’t leave your pet in an enclosed vehicle. Temperatures rise quickly inside vehicles.

Additional information regarding extreme heat conditions may be found at  http://www.kdheks.gov/beh/extreme_heat.htm

An Excessive Heat Events Guidebook is available at http://www.epa.gov/heatisland/about/pdf/EHEguide_final.pdf

More information is also available from the local American Red Cross Chapter or see the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist.

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